Cardiac catheterization is a treatment method as well as a diagnostic test. During cardiac catheterization, specially trained interventional cardiologists guide a thin flexible tube (or catheter) into the heart. This can identify blocked arteries, evaluate the severity of heart valve disease and assess other cardiac conditions. Treatment is delivered through the catheter to the appropriate area.
As a minimally invasive procedure, cardiac catheterization reduces surgical risks and shortens recovery time. Cardiac catheterization is used for:
The highly skilled cardiologists at the Pilla Heart Center perform more than 2,500 cardiac catheterizations each year in six specialized cardiac catheterization laboratories, two of which are dedicated to electrophysiology. These advanced procedure rooms are equipped with the latest in leading-edge cardiac technology.
Cardiac catheterization plays an important role in cardiac emergencies such as heart attacks. When a patient arrives at the Abington Memorial Hospital Emergency Trauma Center, our cardiac/emergency team speeds transport into one of the Pilla Heart Center’s dedicated catheterization suites, located in the same pavilion of the hospital.
In the cardiac catheterization laboratory, our team is able to restore blood flow to the heart (usually by using a balloon angioplasty to open a blocked artery) within minutes. Our "door to balloon" time ranks well above the national benchmark and the American College of Cardiology has recognized us as a leading hospital for “door to balloon” transfer time in from other hospitals.
As a diagnostic test, cardiac catheterization is often performed on patients who have experienced chest pain, or angina. It also may be used to diagnose and assess:
For expertise on cardiac catheterization, contact the specialists at Abington’s Pilla Heart Center including the Porter Institute for Valvular Heart Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Comprehensive Heart Failure Program.